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Apr 17, 2008 11:07 PM

Cooking under the Arctic Circle

My sister has just moved to Chesterfield Inlet, Nunuvut. Food is a serious challenge up there. A stale loaf of bread is $5. I am compiling a list of ideas to help her make some interesting meals considering the extreme lack of variety from the store. Have any of you any ideas? They can order in but it costs a fortune - by weight. Also, they get out for one month every six months and can buy food to take back. She hasn't been a very adventurous cook in the past, but I think she would appreciate some ideas now!


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  1. What kinds of foods does she have available to work with and what kinds of things does she like?

    1. A good friend lives in Fairbanks - the bigtime compared to where your sister is. Even so, she says grocery supplies aren't dependable: if the supernarket has an item you like, you'd better stock up, because you may not see it again for many months. She says that on flights from Anchorage, people always have bags of groceries. When your sister gets away to shop, she should look for dried beans and fruits - less weight to carry, and store well.

      1. I have friends who spent time up there flying for Ken Borek. I'd suggest shipping her a care package. Prices are ridiculously expensive and they're bound to get worse with the rise in gas prices. I'll be seeing some KB people tomorrow if I come up with any better ideas I'll let you know. Best of luck to your sis.

        1. I'm not sure what she has to work with. I know they have shipped a bunch of groceries and she doesn't 'do mixes'. She has a bread maker. She is a typical prairie girl so has simple tastes, thank heaven! All I can think of is to make stock from absolutely anything you can get your hands on. Render any fat you can. Buy cheap cuts of meat - pork butt, stewing beef, etc. Dried fruits, nuts and spices for flavour boosters. Use dried bean, etc. And zest any citrus fruit before you eat it. Beyond that I don't know. Maplesugar, Ken Borek would be a great resource. The only mix I can think that would be worth taking is lemon pie filling. It is not bulky or heavy but is a nice treat. Eggless recipes would also be a thought.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarah galvin

            Off the top of my head...depending on how long the flight is she could buy frozen egg beaters/egg whites ...if they thaw she'd have to use them straight away though.

            I'll update tomorrow once I've had a chance to talk to the Borek pilots :)

          2. I live in the mountains of Costa Rica and am a complete foodie, so it has been a challenge to find substitutions and ideas for cooking. Some that I have found are: Substitute celery leaves for parsley, use red onions in place of shallots, cook with lots of dried beans, lentils, etc., and try your hand at making your own pasta. There are lots of delicious recipes for this. And another idea is to use tinned calamari and octopus to make rice with calamari/octopus. Whenever I travel stateside, I always leave enough room in my luggage to bring back my staples that I cannot find here. And visitors are always glad to bring me things when the come to Costa Rica.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chefmurray57

              I agree with using absolutely every part of a veg, such as celery leaves. When we have a good supply, we become complacent and waste too much. I think the biggest enlightenment will come with realizing how much she used to waste in everyday cooking. Making your own pasta! That is a good one. When I visit I will have to get her into that. Also, thanks maplesugar, I had not thought of eggbeaters.